The Penguins looked tired and non-competitive in a Sunday afternoon start in Hershey and lost 5-1. Travis Boyd had a big day, scoring two goals and assisting on another. The Penguins are 1-2-1 after four games and went 0-2-1 on the weekend, with a pair of losses to in-state rivals.
You can write it off to call-ups. Adam Johnson, Sam Lafferty and Joseph Blandisi are in Pittsburgh. That’s a good chunk of offensive bite missing from the lineup early on.
Friday, they took a bunch of shots from the perimeter that Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon ate up easily.
Saturday, they failed to close out the resilient Utica Comets, got a point but lost in OT.
Sunday, feeling the strain of a third game in three nights, they were obliterated in Hershey against a Bears team that only traveled to Allentown Saturday and had off Friday.
Callups happen all the time to all 31 teams in the AHL. Would some offense have helped this weekend? Sure, but you have to play the hand you’re dealt.
Casey DeSmith opposed Pheonix Copley.
And for the Bears…
Lineup: No changes up front for the Penguins at all. Lines were the same as they were Saturday in Utica. Matt Abt was with Jon Lizotte and Niclas Almari was with Kevin Czuczman. Joseph and Warsofsky stayed paired with one another.
First Period: Pens looked flat to start, Hershey hit two posts, but the Penguins got their legs under them but then ran into penalty troubles and found themselves down 2-0 after the Bears scored two power play goals.
Travis Boyd on the first power play…
…and then Matt Moulson scored on a goal assisted by Boyd when Stefan Noesen picked up an extra instigator after a fight with Erik Burgdoerfer after Burgdoerfer had a big hit on the wall on Jake Lucchini.
Here’s the hit that led to the second Hershey power play.
I mean, I don’t know what they expect to do anymore with these instigators they are handing out like candy at Halloween. Burgdoerfer runs over a guy and has to answer with a fight. Punches were thrown, yet Noesen picks up the instigator? Get out of here with this, just outlaw fighting altogether if you are going to call garbage like this.
Second Period: The hits continued for the Penguins, who saw Hershey score two more goals on them in the middle frame.
Travis Boyd again on the wraparound. Shades of Game 7 in overtime from a few years ago dancing around my head…
So much wrong with this play. First DeSmith pulled way out of his net, then Boyd’s attempt was going to go wide but it went off of Abt’s skates and into the net for a 3-0 Hershey lead.
The Penguins then went on a power play only to see Martin Fehervary beat Casey DeSmith on a two on one shorthanded to make it 4-0 Bears.
😬 😬 😬 😬
Third Period: Penguins couldn’t get anything going offensively. Mike Sgarbossa scored to extend the Hershey lead to 5-0.
Niclas Almari scored on a late power play goal to break up the Copley would be shutout bid that made it 5-1. Great setup by Chase Berger from behind the net.
Three Stars: 3) Matt Moulson (goal, assist) 2) Martin Fehervary (goal) and 1) Travis Boyd (two goals, assist)
The Good: Hard to come up with one. They looked flat, sometimes overmatched and let their goaltender get shelled. Kasper Bjorkqvist had a good game I thought, he was hooked on a breakaway which led to a Penguins power play chance late in the third.
The Bad: Where to start? Special teams seems to be a work in progress. Hershey seemed a step quicker which I think you can write off to Wilkes-Barre playing Friday with Hershey off.
Turning Point: Stefan Noesen getting sent off for 17 minutes of play time took out a large offensive piece for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton.
Around the Division: Rochester beats Hartford 3-2 in overtime….Springfield picks up a big win in Providence beating the Bruins 5-2.
Standings: Hartford 7, Providence 6, Hershey 5, Charlotte and Springfield 4, Lehigh Valley, Bridgeport and the Penguins 3.
Wheeling Update: The Nailers were off.
This Week: Mailbag Monday morning for you. I suspect there will be a lot to talk about….Pens are back in action Wednesday at home against Binghamton….Power Rankings this Thursday. I haven’t decided when or where I am going to run the chart this week with all the stuff going on the blog this week. I may just delay them to next week with the Penguins having only played four games thus far and only one game this weekend in Bridgeport. I may just do that instead.
Keep the faith. Let’s Go Pens!